This is a little off the high-tech path, but it's such a frighteningly vile retail story, it's hard to not include it here. A Green Bay, Wisconsin, company called PureCart Systems LLC is trying to sell to retailers an automated shopping cart purifying system.
Company president Jim Kratowicz is quoted Post-Crescent newspaper as cheerfully saying, ""They are never clean. They are covered in meat and poultry juices, a leaky toddler's diaper and other germs. And you put your fruit and produce there and even your purse." He also cites an ultra-plesant report from the Univ. of Arizona that found that 54 percent of shopping carts contain bodily fluids, and 21 percent of them tested positive for blood, mucus, urine or saliva.
The PureCart system uses a peroxide-based solution to try and kill 99.99 percent of bacteria and more than 90 percent of viruses.